Fire in a hospital in the US, hundreds of meters high smoke column

St. Hospital. John’s Hospital in New York City was ravaged by fire, forcing officials to evacuate dozens of patients and medical staff at once.

More than 100 firefighters were deployed to respond to the St. John’s in the Queens borough of New York City on the afternoon of September 10, after a fire broke out on the roof of the building and created a column of black smoke hundreds of meters high that could be seen in the distance.

Firefighters had to evacuate the entire 11th floor of the building, taking dozens of patients and hospital staff down to the parking lot. Most of the others were ordered to stay in their rooms, while the hospital’s emergency department was also evacuated.

A column of smoke rises from a fire at St.  John in New York City on the afternoon of September 10.  Photo: AP.

A column of smoke rises from a fire at St. John in New York City on the afternoon of September 10. Photo: AP.

Firefighters took hours to bring the blaze under control. The entire emergency call to St. John had to be transferred to other hospitals, many of which were up to a 45-minute drive from the facility.

Investigators believe the fire started on the roof of the hospital, which is being repaired. New York Deputy Assistant Sheriff Fred Schaaf did not say whether the operation was related to the fire, but the exact cause was also clarified.

Only one firefighter was injured in the incident. However, the fire occurred just before the US 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, causing many people in the area to feel concerned.

Vu Anh (Follow NBC News)

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